Takeda eyes Indian M&A, but Cipla, Lupin deny talks

Takeda Pharmaceutical is shopping in India, but whether it's buying is another story. Sources tell the Economic Times the Japanese drugmaker has been kicking tires over at Cipla and Lupin, both major players in the Indian market. Talks with Lupin, at least, are said to have advanced beyond preliminary inquiries. But both Indian companies say they're not negotiating.

Here's the word from the Times' sources: Takeda is interested in Lupin's domestic formulations business--aka, its Indian generics operations--as well as its research facility. But Lupin's founders aren't interested in selling the research operation (the company also has a big API business). Meanwhile, Takeda has made early forays with Cipla, which is, as Reuters notes, best known for its low-cost versions of HIV drugs.

Lupin called the reports "baseless and speculative," saying the company isn't in discussions with Takeda about a sale of the domestic formulations business. Cipla also has denied talking to the Japanese drugmaker, MoneyControl reports. "The news item is baseless, untrue and categorically denied," Cipla told the site.

What is certain is that Takeda is interested in expanding in emerging markets. The company recently paid $13 billion-plus for the Swiss drugmaker Nycomed, which has operations in Russia and Brazil, as well as a stake in a Chinese drugmaker, Reuters points out. And Takeda executives haven't been shy about saying they're eyeing expansion in India. After all, it's no big secret that India is one of the globe's fastest-growing pharma markets.

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